The Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning exists to support and resource the on-going professional development of both leaders and practitioners of ministry and mission. We aim to help sustain church and mission leaders with depth for longevity.

In this section of our website we will facilitate the collection of resources on different topics as they appear to be relevant for church leaders. We will draw on the expertise and research of Carey teaching staff to provide and suggest articles and links. If you are a church leader feel free to suggest a topic for us to focus on. This list will grow as the Centre develops.

Theology and race  

Theology and Race

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Women in ministry, mission and leadership 


Use of the title Reverend by Baptist Leaders

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Suggest another topic: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



[page last updated 9 June 2020]

Please note:

Registration 2018 has now closed. Registration 2019 opens 01 November, 2018.

 If your circumstances require you to register prior to 01 November, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will work with you to achieve a part-year registration agreement.


Before applying for Baptist Leaders’ Registration, consider your eligibility and the process involved. The process involves fulfilling certain agreed requirements throughout the year within the framework of a Ministry Development Agreement. This agreement is renewed each November in order to plan for the year ahead.


You may apply for provisional, full or re-registration with the Baptist Churches of New Zealand if you are working in the name of the Baptist family of churches as a key leader or staff member who has a significant role.

What do we mean by ‘significant’?

We would like our churches to have strong input into deciding what people or ministries are significant enough to warrant Baptist Leaders’ Registration. However, this would mean that a candidate for registration would have:

  • A ‘terms of call’ agreement, employment agreement, or volunteer agreement (as applicable) regardless of whether they work for a church or a trust.
  • A clearly defined role description together with strong lines of accountability, including a ministry review process.
  • Work in the role for at least 15 hours per week.

In many cases ‘Significant’ will be self-evident. However, there will always be candidates whom we are unsure about their eligibility. In those cases the Baptist Leaders' Review Panel will process these applications and make the appropriate decision.

The anchor of eligibility is that you are a Pastoral Leader, Chaplain, or Missional Leader, working (paid or unpaid) in the name of the Baptist family of churches. In this role you would be making a contribution theologically or in leadership to the kingdom of God through the Baptist family of churches in one of the following ways:

Pastoral leader

This includes

  • Key leader or pastoral staff member of a New Zealand Baptist Church.
  • Participants in the Carey Baptist College Ministry Development Course who are graduates of Carey Baptist College.
  • Staff of the Baptist Union, Baptist Associations and NZBMS. These people may apply for registration if they meet the criteria of a pastoral or missional leader working in the name of the Baptist family of churches.
  • Carey Baptist College lecturing full time staff.


  • You are required to have a Terms of Call agreement (or an employment agreement or a volunteer agreement, whichever is applicable).
  • You also need a job description, including regular reviews and clear lines of accountability.
  • You work in the role for a minimum of 15 hours per week.

Ecumenical Chaplain

Those in chaplaincy work may apply for registration only if the Baptist Union or a Baptist Association has participated in their appointment process or their chaplaincy is part of the outreach of a local Baptist church.


  • A letter of support from your local Baptist church stating that:
    • You are of good standing in the community.
    • You are a current member of the church.
    • You have been endorsed by the church to work in the capacity of a Chaplain.
    • Letter of appointment as an ecumenical chaplain.
  • You work in the role for a minimum of 15 hours per week.

Missional Leader

Is someone called and sent to pioneer a new faith community, gathered around Christ, working at the intersection of God’s people, God’s world and God’s gospel, working in the name of the Baptist churches of New Zealand.


  • Volunteer agreement (if applicable).
  • Job description, including regular reviews and clear lines of accountable.
  • You work in the role for a minimum of 15 hours per week.

Stages of registration

Provisional Registration

Provisional registration is the initial two-year period for leaders who have not previously been registered. Those coming into the Baptist movement from outside New Zealand or another denomination or movement within New Zealand are required to undertake learning into what it is to “be” Baptist in New Zealand. There are two options for this:

Following your successful completion of Provisional Registration (two one-year cycles), new fully registered leaders are given public recognition at the annual national Baptist Hui (Baptist Assembly) in November.

Full Registration

Full registration is an ongoing pattern of yearly registration for those who have successfully completed their two years of provisional registration, or who are already fully registered. Registration is renewed in November each year, preparing a Ministry Development Agreement for the year ahead.

The Process

We recommend taking some time to do a Self Assessment each year before renewing your Ministry Development Agreement: Prayerfully consider your strengths as well as your weaknesses in ministry. Is there a specific area you feel called or lead to develop in the following year? Where is the most room for further improvement and learning? It might also be helpful to do a wider assessment: Gather the thoughts and reflections of church leaders, Elders, employers, supervisors, or other people that know you and your ministry well, and whose opinions you value and trust - you might not do this every year, but this input may be useful every few years.

The Ministry Development Agreement

A Ministry Development Agreement for registration covers a period of one year and comprises of three components: Equipping/Learning, Relating/Community, and Accountability/Supervision – these are detailed below.


MDA diagram 580 


There is no points system or set required amount of professional development hours - the aim is to encourage on-going learning. We suggest aiming to construct at least 3 days worth of training/learning through the year - this could be a mixture of Baptist training/learning events, Carey conferences and retreatsaffiliate events, or Self Directive plans. Carey’s Guided Learning options spread the learning and engagement through the year.

Leaders new to the Baptist Movement must do the “Being Baptist” year-long Guided Learning option in their first year of registration, or, if doing other equipping/learning options, they must also read the Baptist Distinctives book by Laurie Guy.

New graduates of the Carey Baptist College Pastoral Leadership track do the Ministry Development Course (MDC) in their first two years – this covers all that is required in the Equipping/Learning component of the Ministry Development Agreement.

When a Carey Guided Learning option is chosen, this fulfills the Learning component of the Ministry Development Agreement. These learning options are designed to be done alongside full-time pastoral work.

Self-Directive Learning Option could be created from the following:

  • Tertiary level study (undergraduate, postgraduate or other academic endeavours such as publishing articles, etc)

  • Reflective Practice proposals:
    • A clearly identified topic or area of interest.
    • A way of interacting with this topic, eg reading, interviews, focused groups, research, overseas mission trip.
    • A way of reporting and/or reflecting on the work done i.e. a 1000 word reflection submitted to the Centre.

Other Approved Courses:

We recognise that there are other valuable courses that could be of benefit to leaders. However, they would have to meet the same rigours of reflective practice courses and proposals eg the Caleb Leadership course, Fresh Expressions Course.

Baptist Whānau

While most of our Pastors and Chaplains attend Baptist gatherings of various kinds, adding this kind of Baptist family interaction to registration has huge value for all wanting to be registered with the Baptist Union. In the online application form you will need to nominate which Baptist gatherings you plan on attending through the year. Choose a minimum of 1 option per year if you are part-time, and a minimum 2 options per year if you are full-time:

  • 70% attendance at Baptist Cluster group
  • Annual Baptist Hui (Baptist Assembly)
  • Lead Conference
  • Specialist Baptist ministry event
  • Carey Baptist College event/conference
  • Other Baptist Community gatherings

If another particular cluster group is part of your plan, you must have at least 70% attendance at such.


It is the intention of Registration that every Baptist Leader is in a formal, accountable relationship, meeting at least once every two months, which may take one of several forms:

  • Mentor: Another minister, usually older and more experienced, who is willing to pass her or his experience and values on to another. The mentor may be a minister of any denomination or retired.
  • Mentoring Group: A group of 3 or more ministers who meet regularly together specifically for the purpose of hearing and mutual accountability.
  • Spiritual Director: Is someone professionally trained, qualified and supervised and registered with the Association of Christian Spiritual Directors or recognised by their denomination.
  • Supervisor: Is someone professionally trained and qualified in supervision, and supervised themselves.
  • Coach: Someone who helps you in a focused area, often for a set period of time. 

Guiding Learning (Lifelong Learning for Registration) options: some of these require the content and learning through the year to be engaged with in the context of external supervision/coaching. Reflection questions are provided to help start the conversation with your chosen supervisor or coach.

We prefer you meet face-to-face with your accountability/supervision/mentor/coach/spiritual-director, but in some circumstances this is too difficult to achieve. i.e. those in remote areas. This can be done via phone, skype or email, but must be at least once every two months.

Your accountability/supervision person will be contacted at the end of the year as part of the Evidence of Completion you sign off when you renew your registration for the following year.

Evidence of Completion

While renewing your registration each year in November, there is an Evidence of Completion section at the start of the online application form. 

Apply for registration

Registration 2018 has now closed. Registration 2019 opens 01 November, 2018.

 If your circumstances require you to register prior to 01 November, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will work with you to achieve a part-year registration agreement.

The cost of registration is $72.50 (incl GST) for the year-long Ministry Development Agreement cycle. The fee is waived for Carey Baptist College Ministry Development Course participants. Online payment is preferred – payment details are emailed after the online form is completed. A Certificate of Registration will be sent to you in the mail. The registration cycle is renewed each November, allowing you to plan for the year ahead.

12 month MDA framework 580

If you have any questions, please contact the Centre for Lifelong Learning team.